A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 25, 2004
Chinese Apple (for “pomegranate”)
Do New Yorkers call it a "Chinese apple" while everyone else calls it a "pomegranate"?

(Dictionary of American Regional English)
Chinese apple n

A pomegranate (Punica granatum).
1980 DARE File NYC (as of 1948), Chinese apple = pomegranate.

I didn't find evidence for this on Google, or the historical New York Times full text database, or the Newspaper Archive database of regional American newspapers.

The pomegranate juice drink is called POM in New York City as is it elsewhere.

Perhaps "Chinese apple" is historical; perhaps people once associated it with Chinatown; perhaps a few grocers had once chose this name to label the item. From my experience, it's a "pomegranate" here.

Posted by Barry Popik
Food/Drink • Saturday, December 25, 2004 • Permalink


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